Today’s snippet continues on from my novel-in-progress, A Handful of Wishes, about a kid, Zeke, who gets a wish-granting genie, Paribanu. One afternoon when the school bullies were chasing him, he ran into a second-hand store owned by the eccentric Cornelius Zwyklychski (pronounced Zwick-lich-ski – from the Polish word for ordinary), who offered him after-school safety in exchange for working around the shop. Zeke, of course, has been lording it over the school bullies, who finally catch up with him, beat the crap out of him, and leave him lying next to some knocked-over trash cans.
Last week, Cornelius found him and said he had something for him.
The shopkeeper returned, carrying a dusty green bottle.
“What’s that?” asked Zeke. He’d never seen it in the shop before.
“This, my dear lad, is my most prized possession, something which I treasure as much as life itself. But I am an old man, and my use for it has wained; I believe that the time has come to pass it on to someone new, as it was passed to me as well when I was a boy about your age.”
“What’s in it?” Zeke asked, bounding to his feet in an attempt to satisfy his curiosity, his battle wounds forgotten in his excitement.
“This is a treasure so rare, so wonderful, that you must keep it hidden in a safe place and never tell anyone of it. Not that they’ll believe you anyways,” Cornelius said with a chuckle.
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